Energy Coupling Links Reactions in Biology

The central issue in bioenergetics (the study of energy transformations in living systems) is the means by which energy from fuel metabolism or light capture is coupled to a cell's energy-requiring reactions. In thinking about energy coupling, it is useful to consider a simple mechanical example, as shown in Figure 1-26a. An object at the top of an inclined plane has a certain amount of potential energy as a result of its elevation. It tends to slide down the plane, losing its potential energy of position as it approaches the ground. When an appropriate string-and-pulley device couples the falling object to another, smaller object, the spontaneous downward motion of the larger can lift the smaller, accomplishing a

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